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Ms. Jane Du x West Lake University: What kind of talents are needed in the future?

Ms. Jane Du x West Lake University: What kind of talents are needed in the future?


On September 15th, 2020, Ms. Jane Du, founder of Wahaha Schools, honorary director and founding donorof Westlake University, returned to the Yunqi campus of Westlake University to have a face-to-face dialogue with teachers and students. In this "face-to-face" session with the university's board of directors, Ms. Du shared her experiences in founding a school and discussed how to carry out international education with the school's educational philosophy.

Ms. Du used a book she recently read, "A Whole New Mind" by American philosopher Daniel Pink, to illustrate the future our next generation will face. According to the book, after the agricultural age, the industrial revolution, and the information age, humanity has entered a high-conceptual age that requires the use of both the left and right brain. The future requires a creative new generation.

Ms. Du mentioned that to determine whether one can adapt to the new era, they should ask themselves three questions: First, does their product or service meet people's needs? If so, can it be replaced by others or machines? Second, ask themselves if they have the lowest cost in doing this thing? Finally, will computers be faster than them? What qualities will such talents need? "CARE" is the school motto of Wahaha Schools. Ms. Du dissected the four words and analyzed the qualities of future talents: curious and imaginative learners, excellent collaborators with empathy, communication skills, respect and tolerance, responsible and persevering creators with grand ideals.

As a school and an educator, how can one respond to the education of future talents? Ms. Du summarized from her years of educational experience that schools need to change the "domineering" mode of teaching, cultivating students' lifelong autonomous learning ability. "Wahaha Schools practices a teaching model and curriculum system centered on students, where teachers are not the main body of the classroom, but the guide who initiates, protects, cultivates, and supports students' curiosity and interest, especially in art and sports, which is an important part of Wahaha's curriculum system." Ms. Du also reflected that it's not an easy task, "many teachers are like hardworking gardeners, fertilizing, watering, weeding, and setting up scaffolding for seedlings. But will students continue to learn once they leave the teacher? A big responsibility of teachers is to stimulate students' motivation to learn, which is driven by their interest."

Therefore, Wahaha Schools adopts more project-based learning methods in running schools to cultivate children's independent exploration ability and cooperation ability.

"We found that when children's learning is connected with the real world and their connection with reality is shortened, the children's engagement is completely different. For example, 'Future City' is a project-based learning course in the middle school, which integrates various subjects , Relying on imagination, research, and design, the children are very involved in building the facilities of the future city; for example, the children in the elementary school will use programming to show the poetic scene of the West Lake, Three Pools Reflecting the Moon, and the children have a lot of whimsy in the project-based learning Wonderful idea, the interest in learning has also become very high. Only by caring for the child's heart can learning become happy. I believe that this kind of learning will definitely plant an ideal seed in the child's heart, and establish a school that uses one's own ability to go to school. A desire to change the world."